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"This ambitious new slate will raise the creative bar to a new level of creativity and experimentation."
——Brian Graden, MTV President Programming
MTV OFFERS CLEAN SLATE IN 2001
Some Of The Potential Shows Are Even Vaguely Music-Oriented
MTV today unveiled the network’s 2001 development slate for music and original programming.

"The producers and talent we are working with—Arnold Shapiro, Todd Phillips, Erik Feig, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Stipe, Paula Abdul—are pushing us into new and groundbreaking arenas," said MTV President Programming Brian Graden. "This ambitious new slate will raise the creative bar to a new level of creativity and experimentation."

Taking a quick glance at the slate, however, does put the company’s March announcement (hitsdailydouble.com, 3/26) of MTV’s refocus on music—you remember, the "M" of MTV—in an odd light.

"We are going to be more music-focused than ever," Judy McGrath, MTV Group President, said at that time. Well, at least several of the potential shows are music-related, if not exactly music video oriented.

The following shows have been picked up for series: "Becoming" (a show that gives fans the opportunity to live the life of their favorite stars); "Who Knows The Band?" (a game show that apparently scours the country trying to find at least one music fan under 27 who has heard of The Band); "Flipped" (which surprisingly has nothing to do with a life-saving dolphin); and "Kidnapped" (a reality show totally unrelated to the works of Robert Louis Stevenson).

The following shows have been greenlit for pilots: "Fanography" (a history program based on the combined knowledge of Slayer’s fans); "New Girl" (a slightly retooled version of the original "Nude Girl" pilot); "Varsity Blues" (based on the 1999 film of the same name); and "Wetsuit" (imagine lawsuits and wet T-shirt contests combined!).

And shows under development include: "Your Video Show" (a show with videos…remember videos?); "Bottoms Up" (surprisingly NOT a Jennifer Lopez vehicle); "Music Mogul" (real life music moguls battle it out "American Gladiator"-style, using only their artificially fattened wallets as weapons); "Rock Chik" (a real life "Almost Famous" starring Michelle Dupont, L.A.’s own Penny Lane); and our favorite "Untitled" (a show so deep in development even its writers and producers don’t know what it’s about yet).

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